Yes, you do need car insurance in California. Drivers in California need at least bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance for a minimum coverage policy, and it’s a good idea to also consider optional types of coverage to ensure you’re fully protected in the event of an accident.
Car insurance in California costs an average of $70 per month for a minimum coverage policy and an average of $210 monthly for full coverage.
Types of Car Insurance Required in California
Bodily injury liability insurance of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Bodily injury liability insurance pays for the medical expenses of other drivers in accidents you cause. It can cover things like hospital fees, loss of income, pain and suffering, and funeral costs.
Property damage liability of at least $5,000. Property damage liability insurance pays for other drivers' property damage in accidents you cause. It can cover things like vehicle repairs or damage to stationary objects like houses or fences.
Premiums are representative of a 45-year-old good driver with a minimum coverage policy.
California is similar to the majority of states in that it requires all drivers to have at least a certain amount of car insurance. Virginia and New Hampshire, on the other hand, are the only states that do not require drivers to carry traditional auto insurance.
Even though California only requires 15/30/5 in liability insurance, drivers should consider buying more coverage if they can afford it. If you cause an accident that results in damage beyond your policy limits, you will be personally responsible for paying the difference. And no matter what, you should be sure to fulfill the minimum California car insurance requirements to avoid facing consequences for … read full answerdriving without insurance.
Finally, drivers should also consider purchasing other types of car insurance in order to better protect themselves, given that liability insurance does not provide any coverage for the policyholder’s own injuries or property. For instance, collision insurance covers damage to the policyholder’s car regardless of fault. And comprehensive insurance pays if the policyholder’s vehicle is damaged by something besides an accident, like a natural disaster or vandalism.
Car insurance in California is $60 per month for minimum coverage and $214 per month for full coverage, on average. The cheapest insurance companies in California are Wawanesa, Geico and Grange, and getting quotes from several companies can help you find the best deal.
Average Cost of Car Insurance in California by Category
The average cost of car insurance in California is 1% lower than the national average auto insurance premium, and California ranks 33 out of 50 for the most affordable car insurance rates in the U.S.. There are several factors that affect how much you’ll pay for car insurance in California, including your driving record, age, location, the amount of coverage that you purchase, and the insurance company you buy it from.
Finally, it’s worth noting that car insurance premiums in California are high, compared to the cost of coverage in neighboring states like Oregon and Texas. You can find more details in the table below.
Cost of Car Insurance in California vs. Neighboring States
Full coverage insurance in California is usually defined as a policy that provides more than the state’s minimum liability coverage, which is $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, up to $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 in property damage coverage. Full coverage in California also includes optional collision and comprehensive insurance… read full answer. As a result, full coverage insurance costs an average of $2,567 per year in California, while a state minimum policy costs $717 per year.
If you can’t afford to repair or replace your car after an accident, collision and comprehensive are important coverage types—even if they’re not required. Collision insurance covers repair or replacement costs if you are in an accident, drive into an object, or flip your car. Comprehensive insurance covers repair or replacement costs if your car is damaged by falling objects, natural disasters, floods, fires, theft, vandalism, or animals. Lenders usually require collision and comprehensive in addition to the insurance you must have under California law when you finance a car.
Most people should also choose higher liability coverage limits than what is required by California law. If you cause an accident and your liability limits don’t cover the whole bill, you are still personally responsible for the rest. In the end, “full coverage” means having the right amount of coverage to protect your assets in a worst-case scenario.
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